The Syrian delegation at the COP28 in Dubai has blamed international sanctions, opposition groups, the U.S., Turkey, and Israel for aggravating the climate crisis in Syria, while deflecting any governmental responsibility in Syria’s climate emergency. At the annual Conference of Parties, private entities and governments tend to make pledges to help developing countries face the climate crisis, but so far, Damascus' search for international climate finance seems to have fallen flat this year.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the world’s largest multilateral climate fund, has granted USD 1.9 million to the Syrian government in the past four years but could potentially attract much more. Countries must enhance the technical capacity of national institutions through a ‘Readiness Program' to access GCF funds. As of August, GCF has funded 709 ‘readiness requests’ worth a total of USD 527.6 million across 142 countries. In the case of Syria, the GCF has so far disbursed USD 873,300 out of the total USD 1.9 million granted.
On November 26, the Russian delegation visited the Suweida Chamber of Commerce and Industry and signed an MoU to barter Syrian local agricultural products like olive oil, apples, and grapes molasses, for Russian agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and machinery.
The Syrian Trade Establishment has announced profits worth SYP 33 billion in the first ten months of 2023, triggering criticism among Syrians grappling with rising prices of essential goods.
The Syrian government has increased by 74 percent the price of bottled water produced by state-owned factories. This is the third price hike of bottled water this year. Syrians increasingly depend on bottled water for drinking as electricity shortages have hampered water pump operations across the country, and tap water quality has sharply declined due to conflict-related damage to water infrastructure.
Syria recorded an annual inflation rate of 84.9 percent in 2022, compared to an average of 5.1 percent in the rest of Arab countries and 8.5 percent recorded globally, according to the Annual Bulletin of the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, published on October 12. The hike in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed to 41.3 percent of last year’s general inflation, followed by the housing, water, electricity and gas category, then transportation and health.